The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 72 (1994) > Issues > Issue 22 > Legal Column. Working Without a Contract: Problems of Agency
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Legal Column. Working Without a Contract: Problems of Agency

In my recent article ‘Problems of working without a contract’ (16 August ,1994) I outlined some of the ways in which an engineer might get paid even where he has no contract with whoever has instructed him. I considered two situations: -Where a client asks for a preliminary appraisal ‘to be provided within 7 days’ and the engineer says he may or may not be able to comply with this timetable (although in fact does), no fees are discussed and the client then refuses to pay. Generally the engineer can recover a reasonable sum for work done (on a quantum meruit valued on an objective basis). - Where an engineer is invited to tender, and does so, but for some reason the client fails to consider his tender, although he considers others. Traditionally the engineer here has no remedy, but it was noted that recent case law suggests otherwise, particularly where the client is a public body and has failed to consider the tender at all (as opposed to considering it inadequately). Ian R. Yule